Despite the fact that Munich Airport (EDDM) is the second-busiest in Germany, the default version in Microsoft Flight Simulator leaves a lot to be desired. Luckily, Sim-Wings just released its own rendition.
The add-on is available on Aerosoft’s store for €21 (plus VAT) and comes with its own handy installer, so you won’t need to fiddle much with files and folders.
The area covered is limited to the airport itself, but this doesn’t mean it’s a small add-on, considering that Munich Airport is absolutely massive.
If you’d like to see what it looks like in detail, you can check out the in-depth flyover video below, showing Munich under every angle, lighting, and weather condition.
The perimeter of the airport is properly fenced and the custom orthographic base blends perfectly with the surrounding while providing just the right amount of detail.
The texture work of runways and aprons is very well done, with great weathering and accurate markings. Everything is true to charts, and you’ll be able to easily follow your ATC guidance to and from your gate whether you’re following your charts, the taxiway signs, or the clear markings on the lanes themselves.
Despite the massive size of the airport and its complexity, navigating it is easier than most due to how well the signage and markings are reproduced.
The high quality of the textures reflects on the buildings as well, especially those closest to the aprons. Only the roofs are quite blurry, but this is a common trick used to save hardware resources since you won’t really see these textures from your cockpit.
The developers have put an incredible amount of effort into tiny details like mesh protecting the windows, railings, billboards, and various decorations, and most of the terminals’ interiors are modeled and visible behind well-tinted glass.
Interestingly, Sim-Wings found an elegant solution to Microsoft Flight Simulator’s issue with transparent windows glitching through misty or foggy weather. The interiors are lit, hiding the problem pretty much entirely.
When you move away from the aprons, interiors aren’t modeled and the textured windows could use a bit better definition. Luckily, it’s far enough from the operational area that you probably won’t notice.
Ultimately, with this kind of massive airport, some of the detail needs to be sacrificed in order to preserve the frame rate, and Sim-Wings focused on having a crazy level of detail where it counts, while heavily optimizing where it doesn’t.
The jetways are animated and likely the best models I’ve seen in a while. They include see-through glass and even come in different models depending on the location, exactly like in the real airport.
Below you can check out a video featuring a final approach, landing, and full taxi to a gate, showing the jetway’s animation in action alongside its beautiful model and texturing.
The terminals are richly decorated by the Lufthansa logos and the “Ms” actually modeled in 3D, creating a very scenic effect. Most would have doubtlessly just used a texture, but Sim-Wings opted to go beyond the call of duty here.
The iconic Lufthansa Technik hangars are a joy for the eyes, with plenty of glass and a level of the detail that is overall of an exceptional quality.
While most of the details have been focused near the aprons, the inner area of the airport still includes plenty of great sights, including the train station, the visitor park with its vintage aircraft (a Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation, a Junkers Ju-52, and a Douglas DC-3), the Audi training center, and much more. There is a lot to discover in Munich Airport in Microsoft Flight Simulator, just like in the real hub.
The aprons and parking areas are populated with plenty of vehicles and clutter, all of which are well-textured and modeled. Yet, there are no static aircraft. This is not a flaw, considering that the value of their presence tends to be extremely subjective, but if you care for them, you don’t find them here.
The airport has plenty of floodlights to keep the aprons perfectly lit after hours. Unfortunately, the buildings appear to be lit up a bit excessively at a texture level, which means they stand out a bit unnaturally on the dark ortho. This is more visible away from the aprons’ floodlights.
When the weather becomes inclement the add-on’s textures cope very well with the rain, and this is likely the airport with the most spotless snow coverage I’ve seen so far. As a matter of fact, it’s a tad too spotless, making it seem that the runway cleaning services have gone on vacation.
All the instrumental landing aids work perfectly, letting you enjoy buttery landings.
Yet, if you’re approaching visually, the PAPI lights on runway 08 R are incorrectly calibrated. You’ll have eaten the dirt long before you get to see any red lights due to the excessively shallow glideslope. The three sets of PAPIs on the other runways work correctly.
Another small issue is the inability to call for a fuel truck (which seems to be somewhat common nowadays), while all other ground services are available.
You may be thinking that all the eyecandy will tank your framerate, but it’s really not that bad.
As you can see below, my own PC (RTX 3070, Ryzen 9 3900x, 32 GB RAM) loses about 10 FPS at 1440p resolution and Ultra settings. This is entirely acceptable with an airport of this size and scope, showing that the optimization balance chosen by Sim-Wings has paid off.
You’ll also notice that the visual improvement compared to the default airport is absolutely massive.
Munich Airport is certainly one of the largest and most complex add-ons of this kind released for Microsoft Flight Simulator so far, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Top-notch modeling and textures combined with superb attention to detail and good performance make this relevant German hub an absolute joy for your airliner operations.
- Top-notch modeling and textures.
- Fantastic attention to detail.
- Beautiful jetways.
- Perfect for those who want a hub right in the middle of Europe.
- Easy to navigate thanks to the precise reproduction of taxiways and markings.
- Good performance for an airport so massive and detailed.
- One set of PAPI lights isn’t working correctly.
- Buildings are lit up excessively at night.
- Windows far from the aprons lack resolution.
December 21, 2020